Sunday, October 01, 2006

Alabama Post-Game

All analysis, links, etc... here.


  1. Nail-biting, frustrating, angering, winning.

    Up until the 2nd quarter 95-yd. TD less than 40 yards total offense. Are you kidding me???

    212 commercial timeouts. Not so mild weather. Questionable play-calls and player execution, 20 minutes of painful waiting during halftime to see if a team called the Gators would come out of the locker room.

    As best as I can sum up the game - mediocre with big plays winning the game for us.

    Leak ended up having respectable numbers and had a great run. We finally opened up the passing game and went away from trying to run up the gut, some big plays for TDs, big-time turnovers and turnovers for points and there's our win.

    D-Line not so impressive on pass rush or run defense. O-line - nothing terrible. A few dumb penalties.

    Coaching and player execution was an F- until the 95 yard drive.

    Chris Hetland missing another FG, whether it really was in or not, ridiculous.

    Big plays and playmakers and Chris Leaks's poise won us this game behind a strong showing from the D in the second half.

    First time we have been 3-0 in the SEC since 2001.

    Nice to get the revenge win and a win is a win, albeit we should have really blown them out.

    Now comes the real test - LSU. Feel a lot better about it being at home.

  2. Losing Wynn to injury - Blah!!!

    Full results of the MRI on his knee out today, but he is almost most def. out vs. LSU.

  3. From CFN:


    Florida kicker Chris Hetland missed a field goal against Alabama by a hard-to-discern margin. This kick seemed to travel just behind the left upright and looked "good" to the naked eye in real time. The official on the ground had the best view, however, and said no. This does raise the need for networks--especially in big games--to either have cameramen or automated/mechanized cameras on the ground directly under the uprights.

    There's no reason why high placekicks that climb over the top of the uprights shouldn't be subject to review. Fans, coaches and replay officials deserve to get a clean, clear look at kicks from the ground, so that if there's any dispute about whether or not a high kick traveled above the upright--or just behind it, or just in front of it--coaches can challenge it if they want to. What if Hetland's kick was on the final play of regulation? Darn straight Urban Meyer would want to challenge the ruling on the field. He should be able to exercise

  4. From CFN:


    In Florida's Chris Leak, can you ever remember a legitimate Heisman candidate that a fan base (for the most part) was so ready to get rid of? Maybe he’s seen as Ron Zook’s quarterback. Maybe he’s not considered flashy enough. Maybe it's the stoic demeanor compared to the fiery Tim Tebow. Maybe Florida fans think the offense will go from great to oh-my-goodness once Tebow gets the gig full-time. Just be careful for what you wish for. Tebow appears to be the real deal, but over the history of college football, the sure-thing prospect doesn’t always have the better career than the rock-solid college star. Just ask Miami fans if they’d rather have Ken Dorsey back than one-time super-recruit Kyle Wright. Rhett Bomar was considered top recruit No. 1A along with Adrian Peterson a few years ago, but how’d that work out for Oklahoma? Jason White looks like a world-beater now. Leak might never be loved by the Gator world like Danny Wuerffel or other great Gator quarterbacks, but that might chance a wee bit if No. 12 leads the way to a national title.

  5. The had a good article on Leak and Tebow in the insider section of (the part you have to pay for). It interviewed both of them and talked a little how they have been working together on having them both in for a play with Leak as quarterback and Tebow as reciever or runningback or possibly lining up with both as quarterback. They have even been staying late at practice to work on it. They also mentioned that Chris Leak's favorite muscician is Michael Jackson and Tim Tebow's is Garth Brooks.

  6. Why you holding out Ruth-Ann? Cut and paste the good parts here.

  7. Why dont you post the link. I thought i taught you how to.

  8. That was a really good article Peacock. I hope I have time this week to watch a little game film. CFN brings up some sobering reflection. How can we outscore LSU if our offense is "close to the vest"? We know Jamarcus Russel can dink and doink passes over the middle all day and we know our D has trouble there. He can also scramble and will be hard to bring down. Our offense may have to score 28 points on its own Saturday to win this one. I hate high ankle sprains.

  9. Chris showed me the article and I don't know how to access it again. Chris can you post the link--And before you laugh at me Jamie- I don't have my cell phone and I don't know Chris's pager number so I can't call him.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Another Side of Leakposted: Saturday, September 30, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry

    After Florida's 28-13 defeat of Alabama, I pulled Chris Leak aside and told him that his 45-yard run -- yes, run -- was the greatest single play of Leak's career.

    "I'd like to think it would be a pass," Leak said.

    But Chris was missing the point. What Leak did on that one play in the second quarter was show the world, notably skeptical Gators fans, that a) Leak can be athletic; b) Leak can be emotional; and c) Leak can show leadership qualities.

    Because after Leak had completed a designed draw in a fashion that most -- including myself -- did not think he was capable of doing, he actually ran around the field, exulting in joy, pumping his fists and leaping in the air as fans cheered.

    "Maybe in Pee Wees," Leak said, when I asked the last time he'd run so far.

    Said coach Urban Meyer: "Whoa. Chris Leak ran 45 yards. There you go…"

    In a dull post-game press conference, Leak, wearing a pressed collared shirt and orange-and-blue striped tie, reverted to his private, composed, restrained, soft-spoken self. That is, until the senior was asked about the play.

    "As a quarterback, you know how important it is to have the crowd behind you," Leak revealed.

    Yes, Leak is fully aware that he was booed last week at home. He's fully aware of critics who say he slides too often and isn't willing to lay his body on the line. The perception, of course, is that true freshman Tim Tebow is.

    And that's more than perception. Earlier this week I asked Tebow how he feels about "sliding" at the end of the run. "Maybe in baseball," he said.

    Yes, Tebow is clever and witty and mature beyond his years. But what Florida fans -- and even Florida players -- are coming to realize is that the nation's fifth-ranked team will go only as far as Leak can take them. No matter how much Tebow may remind of Alex Smith.

    For Leak, this season -- his senior season -- is one last chance at a championship. And with every successive game, it becomes more apparent the huge strides Leak has made from this time last season, when he was roundly -- and fairly -- criticized, even though he was forced to adjust to an offense not best suited to his talents.

    Florida coach Urban Meyer noted that a touchdown pass from Leak to Andre Caldwell would never have happened at this time last season. Leak, seeing a chink in the defense's armor, made a snap adjustment at the line and called Caldwell's number.

    It was a strange Saturday on several fronts. Former Florida coach Ron Zook, who successfully recruited Leak to Florida, found a way to lead Illinois to an upset of Michigan State.

    And for the second time in five weeks, legendary Steve Spurrier was at Florida on Saturday, this time inducted into the first Florida Ring of Honor.

    Spurrier has noted more than once that Leak has a "beautiful spiral" and that he's not so sure about all that running they, ie., Meyer, asks No. 12 to do.

    There is no question that Tebow is a superior rusher. When inserted into the game on consecutive plays in the second quarter, he burst through the line like a bull out of a gate, offering flailing shoulders and arms to prospective 'Bama tacklers.

    Of Leaks' run, Tebow bellowed: "It was good to see. He's got some speed, too." With former Heisman Trophy winner and pocket-passer Danny Wuerffel -- along with Spurrier, Emmitt Smith and Jack Youngblood inducted to the Ring of Honor -- on the sidelines taking it all in, Leak made a play that could define his season more than even he realizes.

    Leak showed he could move. He should he could lead. And yes, he showed he could celebrate. Leak can talk all he wants about his God-given ability to maintain poise and composure.

    But if he allows that alter-ego to shine, at least on occasion, Florida's chances to win -- and win big -- increase exponentially.

  12. Gator Great or Gator Bait?posted: Friday, September 29, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- I'm where I probably lived the best four years of my life.
    Not only did I get my first taste of big-time college football here, but I was able to cover Steve Spurrier for two years and then, well, Ron Zook.

    Let's go on record as saying it's always better to be the guy that follows the guy. That guy, of course, is Urban Meyer, who should be given credit this week for acknowledging the ridiculousness of the Gators' upcoming schedule.

    At Utah, Meyer conceded, he would sometimes look up at the scoreboard in the third quarter, and discuss on the headsets how many points the team should score to please the pollsters and computers.

    At Florida, with Alabama and LSU visiting, then trips to Auburn and Georgia in Jacksonville, the goal of course, is simply to survive and advance. How sweet it would be if that phrase also applied to a Division I-A postseason tournament?

    But that's a story for another day.

    I've known Florida quarterback Chris Leak since his days at Independence High School in Charlotte, and as I relayed to my friend Jeff Darlington, who once succeeded me on the Gators' beat and now covers the NFL, it is remarkable how Leak has become a sympathetic figure. Unwarranted booing will do that.

    Booing fascinates me. Always has. I was walking into the ESPNEWS set the other day, as former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury was walking off. And I asked him, "Does booing affect a starting quarterback?"

    "Yes," Salisbury said.

    Then he smiled. "Of course, I wouldn't know about that."

    Two-headed QB
    Leak is on the verge of becoming the greatest statistical passer in the history of the school. Of course, Leak would like a championship.

    Leak has been a starter for four years and is by all rights a Heisman Trophy candidate now. Of course, he was also strangely booed by the home crowd during a rout of Kentucky last week.

    It's not his fault he's not a true freshman anymore. When he was, I covered Florida, and it was Ingle Martin they booed. Now, of course, they cheer for Tim Tebow, who strong-arms linebackers and then jumps up and down and pumps his fists about it.

    Yes, Tebow is the future. And for Florida, its future at quarterback is bright. Tebow is affable, inspirational and most of all, athletic. He is the type of runner who has been studying what Alex Smith did for Urban Meyer more closely that Leak ever has.

    And with good reason. Tebow can be Alex Smith. What Leak will never be is Alex Smith. And for this, he should not be blamed.

    I also had the great fortune of catching up with both Leak and Tebow on the phone this week. The following will give you a sense for their personalities.

    How do I feel about them? I think their strengths on the football field complement each other. And I think that their personalities do, too.

    And how has the Florida coaching staff has handled them? Beautifully. In fact, after a recent practice, Leak suggested to coaches that they might try using him and Tebow on the field at the same time. They haven't tried that yet.

    So long after practice, there they were, on the field, working it out. Leak at quarterback and Tebow at running back. Leak at quarterback and Tebow at receiver. Then, finally, Leak at quarterback and Tebow right there, next to him.

    Here are my conversations with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow, two highly recruited quarterbacks with vastly different skill sets, experience and personalities:

    Leak on Leak
    Schad: How do you think you've played this year?

    Leak: I'll grade myself at the end of the year.

    Schad: I heard you and Tim have been designing some plays where you're both on the field at the same time?

    Leak: I shouldn't tell you about that. But I will say if we did it, it would keep the defense off balance.

    Schad: What do you like best about Tim Tebow's game?

    Leak: He's just willing to learn and is a try hard guy. It's always fun to be around somebody who really wants to learn. I guess as a quarterback you want to keep your composure. So that's one thing I try to help him with.

    Schad: What did you think after you saw Tim jumping up and down and pumping his fast after a few long runs?

    Leak: That's just his excitement for the game. When I talk about composure, I'm talking about how to handle yourself in adverse situations.

    Schad: How do you think Florida fans feel about you?

    Leak: I really don't think about it. My focus is on my teammates. That's my main focus is my teammates and those 10 guys in the huddle.

    Schad: What must your team do to stop the booing?

    Leak: We're only going to do what we can on the football field. We're going to give all we've got every game. Ever since I've been here I've always had great respect for being a Gator. You come here to play in the Swamp and the fans are what make the Swamp special.

    Schad: Tim is being eased in. What advantage does he have with that?

    Leak: I was eased in, and for that I have to give credit to coach (Ron) Zook. They didn't throw me in the fire. I started against Kentucky in like the fourth or fifth week.

    Schad: Why is this good for Tim?

    Leak: It will shorten the learning curve. There is no greater teacher than experience. And getting in early will be good for him.

    Schad: You and Tim seem to get along.

    Leak: He's a try-hard guy. He expects a lot out of himself. And he works hard.

    Schad: What did Alabama's defense do to you last season?

    Leak: We didn't execute. Give Alabama credit. They were well-coached. I mean, they had DeMeco Ryans and a very talented group. What they do, they do well. You really have to be disciplined on offense.

    Schad: Let's have a little fun. Who is your favorite musician?

    Leak: Michael Jackson.

    Schad: What?

    Leak: What's wrong with Michael Jackson? He is the greatest entertainer of all time. I don't know of one person who has never done the moon walk.

    Schad: If you could drive any vehicle?

    Leak: The one from Mission Impossible 3.

    Schad: If you could travel anywhere in the world?

    Leak: I could say Arizona for the end of the season. But if I go overseas? Rome.

    Schad: Favorite all-time quarterback?

    Leak: Warren Moon. He played hard and overcame a lot of adversity.

    Schad: Favorite all-time class?

    Leak: Interpersonal communications. It was interesting to learn about different cultures.

    Schad: How do you see this season ending?

    Leak: My expectations are for us to win an SEC and national title. Just like they've been since I got here four years ago.

    Tebow on Tebow
    Schad: Jesse Palmer is my buddy. Ever want to be on The Bachelor?

    Tebow: Nah. I don't think that's my style.

    Schad: How many runs have you had this season?

    Tebow: You know what? I'm not sure.

    Schad: How many passing attempts?

    Tebow: Ten or eleven. I see what you're saying.

    Schad: Have you ever spoken with former Utah quarterback Alex Smith?

    Tebow: I have. I got to talk to him during recruiting and one day this summer he came down and I worked out with him. He loved the offense. That's the reason he is where he is right now. He said you've got to believe in it and trust it because it will work in the SEC or wherever it's played.

    Schad: Ever watch Alex Smith tape?

    Tebow: I still watch it to this day. Every now and then I pull it out. I saw a few plays, a few coverages last week. I try to copy him. But they have changed a lot of things. The biggest difference is we're using a fullback lead-blocker here.

    Schad: Did you know how you were going to be used this season?

    Tebow: Well, you know, we talk about different situations and what we want to do. In a game, you might not know exactly what play or what drive, but you know the situation. So you've got to be ready.

    Schad: Steve Spurrier praises Chris Leak's spiral. What is the best thing about Chris' game?

    Tebow: I would say the same thing. He has a very beautiful pass. There are very few people that can throw a spiral like him. I'm working on mine.

    Schad: What were you thinking about when you were jumping up and down and pumping your fists after that run last week?

    Tebow: Well, I got pretty enthusiastic and hyped. Anytime I get a chance to help the team win, you know, I do it all with my heart. And hopefully it motivates others.

    Schad: How do you think Florida fans feel about you?

    Tebow: (Laughs) Well, I'm pretty lucky right now. They like me somewhat right now. Florida fans are the best in the country.

    Schad: Did you watch Arkansas' Mitch Mustain last week? Here's a true freshman who won the game but struggled throughout. Are you fortunate you're not being force-fed like Mustain and Matthew Stafford at Georgia?

    Tebow: I did watch some of that Arkansas game. But I really hadn't thought of it like then. I'm sure those guys are doing well. They were thrown in there fast. But it will be OK.

    Schad: A little fun here. Who is your favorite musician?

    Tebow: I really like Kenny Chesney. But I can't say him, because he's a Vol. So I'll go with Garth Brooks.

    Schad: If you could drive any vehicle?

    Tebow: I won't say a pickup truck. An old Dodge Viper.

    Schad: If you could travel anywhere in the world?

    Tebow: Never been to Hawaii.

    Schad: Favorite all-time quarterback?

    Tebow: In college, Danny Wuerffel. In the NFL, Steve McNair. He's the toughest guy in the league. I loved watching him play. He plays hurt, he plays with bruised ribs. He just flat-out plays.

    Schad: How do you see this season ending?

    Tebow: You know, hopefully only one way. Playing for a national championship. That's our goal.

    Roll Tide
    Alabama defensive end Wallace Gilberry has quite a personality. Got him on the phone the other night after practice and he wasn't exactly shy. Of Alabama's rout of Florida last season, Gilberry said: "To this day, I don't have the answer to (how we did that.) We were relentless and fearless and after a while, they just folded their tents."

    And here's Gilberry on Florida quarterback Tim Tebow: "That kid has a lot of years in front of him. But he should leave the stiff-arms to the running backs. I'll say this. I remember Tim Tebow from his visit here. He is a quarterback with the mindset of a linebacker. Tim Tebow is going to be a star at Florida for years ago come. It's his poise. It's the way he shakes your hand. Most quarterbacks, when they meet someone from defense, they look the other way. Not this guy. He looks you in the eye."

    When I thanked Gilberry for his time, he yelled out the loudest, "Roll Tide!" that I have ever heard. Just thought you should know.

  13. I'm fated to be with Tebow...Garth Brooks :)

  14. Michael Jackson? Michael Jackson?? I read that before, but flushed it. Thanks for reminding me. Way to go.

  15. The discussion of crushes on players is strictly prohibited on this blog. Any such further comments will result in expulsion.

  16. Michael Jackson pre-bleaching was a good singer. And I'm sure you noticed that both are not only looking for a SEC championship but a national one as well.

  17. Taking the Michael Jackson thread to the random posts...